Talking Out of Revolution: Henri Krasucki and Jacques Chirac's Secret Pigalle Negotiations and the Resolution of the French General Strike of May-June 1968

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At the height of the French general strike of May-June 1968, the future President Jacques Chirac, then Secretary of State for Employment, initiated at least one secret meeting with Henri Krasucki, deputy General Secretary of the Communist-led trade union confederation, the Confédération générale du travail (CGT). As one of the few aspects of the events of May to remain comparatively untouched by serious historical work, the present article seeks to rectify this anomaly, peeling apart the various competing layers of memory around the Chirac-Krasucki negotiations to explore the paradoxes of this encounter, placing them in a wider historical and memorial context. Light will thereby be shed on how two very different men sought, with a surprising degree of success, to cross the profound political, class and Cold War lines that lay between them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-247
JournalLabour History Review
Issue number3
Early online date13 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2018



  • French Communist Party
  • CGT
  • May 1968
  • Jacques Chirac
  • Henri Krasucki

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